Native Athletes in Sport and Society: A Reader

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Overview


Though many Americans might be aware of the Olympian and football Hall of Famer Jim Thorpe or of Navajo golfer Notah Begay, few know of the fundamental role that Native athletes have played in modern sports: introducing popular games and contests, excelling as players, and distinguishing themselves as coaches. The full breadth and richness of this tradition unfolds in Native Athletes in Sport and Society, which highlights the accomplishments of Indigenous athletes in the United States and Canada but also explores what these accomplishments have meant to Native American spectators and citizens alike.
 
Here are Thorpe and Begay as well as the Winnebago baseball player George Johnson, the Snohomish Notre Dame center Thomas Yarr, the Penobscot baseball player Louis Francis Sockalexis, and the Lakota basketball player SuAnne Big Crow. Their stories are told alongside those of Native athletic teams such as the NFL’s Oorang Indians, the Shiprock Cardinals (a Navajo women’s basketball team), the women athletes of the Six Nations Reserve, and the Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School’s girls’ basketball team, who competed in the 1904 World’s Fair. Superstars and fallen stars, journeymen and amateurs, coaches and gatekeepers, activists and tricksters appear side by side in this collection, their stories articulating the issues of power and possibility, difference and identity, representation and remembrance that have shaped the means and meaning of American Indians playing sport in North America.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803227538
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author


C. Richard King is an associate professor of comparative ethnic studies at Washington State University. He is the coeditor of Team Spirits: The Native American Mascot Controversy (Nebraska 2001).
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Table of Contents

Identities, opportunities, inequities : an introduction
1 Negotiating a Native American identity through sport : assimilation, adaptation, and the role of the trickster 1
2 "Looking backward" : the life and legend of Louis Francis Sockalexis 22
3 World champions : the 1904 girls' basketball team from Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School 40
4 "Winnebago is a great nation!" : George Howard Johnson's life in baseball 79
5 The forgotten Irish Indian : ethnicity, class, and football in the life of Tommy Yarr 104
6 Playing football, playing Indian : a history of the Native Americans who were the NFL's Oorang Indians 123
7 Women's basketball on the Navajo Nation : the Shiprock Cardinals, 1960-1980 143
8 An examination of sport for aboriginal females on the Six Nations Reserve, 1968-1980 170
9 SuAnne Big Crow : her legend and legacy 189
10 A notable exception : notes on Notah Begay, race, and sports 211
11 No fall from grace : Grace Thorpe's athlete of the century campaign for her father 228
Epilogue 245
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